South Africa’s economy up by 4.9% in 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

South Africa’s economy grew by 4.9% in 2021 following a 6.9% contraction in 2020.

According to Statistics South Africa, the annual increase was led by higher economic activity in finance, personal services, and manufacturing.

Stats SA further notes that gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated by 1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021, with manufacturing, agriculture, trade and transport as the main drivers.

The video below looks at 2021 GDP growth:

Economists say last year’s economic growth can largely be attributed to rebasing effects as the economy was coming from a very low base following a deep contraction in 2020.

Econometrix Chief Economist Azar Jammine says the economy faces serious headwinds this year.

“Looking ahead to 2022, most people are expecting that growth of 4,9% to slow to around 2% or even less. We don’t know what the potential impact of the Russian invasion will be in the final resort, it depends on how long the crisis is going to continue.”

“South Africa stands to benefit from higher commodity prices in the short term. But one is concerned that in the longer term the crisis, especially due to higher commodity price, especially oil prices might bring about a global recession,” adds Jammine.